Saturday, October 23, 2010

The last entry on my medical history is from September 28th. I didn't realize how fast things have been going, and how lazy I've been. Anyways on that last entry it was the spring of 1983, Michael Jackson's Thriller was ruling the Billboard charts, Lee Iaccoca was remaking Chrysler...just kidding. I had just received my first Kidney Transplant at the Cleveland Clinic, my bladder was working for the first time in my life, and I was really good for the first time in my memory. Its really strange after being sick for so long, years and years really, and then how you feel literally the second after being woke up after the surgery for the transplant. Its like nothing I have ever experienced at any other times in my life. The amazing clean, and clear, and strong that i felt made it feel as though i could go straight from the recovery room to work hauling bales of hay, while reading advanced physics. That whole week or two after surgery, except for the treatments of horse serum, or other reactions to things was overall a great time for me. 

When it was time to go home i would feel something that I would become more accustomed to (unfortunately) over the next many months, fear. I was becoming used and safe to being in the hospital, and going home away from the constant care and protection of the hospital and the staff I had grown tight with was a little frightening. However, going home was intoxicating, especially after the last few months I had gone through and I went home with a new life in tow.

Being home, in the late April early May of Toledo was like being placed in some type of fairy tale with the majesty of spring, and the good health I was experiencing in my life. I remember just wanting to do everything at once and feel everything now. Rolling on the grass, putting my face up to the sun, smelling the spring blooms. It was all so amazing. I went, after about a week or so of being home, to see all the kids I hadn't seen at school in over five months. It was weird, nobody really understood or recognized me because of the side affects from the predisone I was on that made me look like a plump munchkin from the Wizard of Oz.  I was shunned a bit and felt out of place with kids I had spent my entire childhood with. It was hard, seeing them have fun with each other, and getting ready for junior high. The girls were flirting with the boys, and didn't even see me, at least that is what I thought.

Apart from this I was finishing up the home school stuff for my transition into summer and then back to regular school in the fall. It was the end of May and the Beginning of June, about a month into the transplant when we had some signs of trouble. The transplanted Kidney, according to the weekly lab work I was getting was showing signs of early rejection. in other words my body's immune system had recognized it as a foreign object, no different than say a cold virus, and was mounting a battle to destroy the organ in the body. The numbers were bearing this out. If there is one single lab value that I was getting most intimate with, and the one that would tell me the whole story of the thin line between life and not life it was creatine  numbers. A good one for a functioning normal kidney is (depending on individual lab normals), .8 to 1.2 typically. The creatine is a normal by-product from muscle growth and decay in the body, and is excreted at a regular rate by the kidneys. When this number is higher it indicates something is amiss in the kidney function. 

Late in May and early and June of 1983, this number was climbing fast and the doctors were doing what they could to stop it from getting worse.

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